Archive for December, 2009

December 26, 2009 – All I Want For Christmas ….

December 26, 2009

I hope you had a great Christmas celebration and that the rest of your holiday season brings good times with friends and family.  At first I wasn’t going to do a blog because I thought well, it’s Christmas and nobody is going to be fooling around on the internet (besides me, of course).  Lo and behold when I checked this morning there were 40 page views on the church website on Christmas Eve, and 30 on Christmas Day!  Don’t you people have a life (ha, ha)?  So I thought I would do a quick blog and share just a couple of thoughts.

When it gets close to Christmas, some of the news and sports programs do a “fantasy” Christmas list – a list of gifts that they would give people if they had the ability to do so.  So in the tradition of stealing other people’s ideas, here is my fantasy wish list:

To the St. Louis Cardinals – to re-sign Matt Holliday, bring in another player or two, and hang an 11th world championship banner. 

To the Chicago Cubs – nothing.   They are fine the way they are.

To the St. Louis Rams – a new owner and someone to run the organization who actually knows something about football.

To Kurt Warner – one more Super Bowl before he hangs up the cleats.

To Pope Benedict XVI – one Christmas Mass without having to absorb a flying tackle.

To Father Gene – more remote-controlled accessories (door locks, church lights, etc.).

To Kathy Albrecht – a self serve beverage machine at the KC.

To our fair city – smooth roads (I’ll settle for one to start).

To Barack Obama –  the backbone to stand up to congressional leaders, etc. and do what HE thinks is right.

To our parish – a year free from leaky roofs, broken pipes, and other maintenance disasters.

To our website – all kinds of neat new photos and innovations.

To our world – a year of peace, prosperity and a step closer to resolving all of our conflicts.

To my Mom –  anything and everything she wants.

To yours truly – a new head (an ugly one would suffice).

Just a quick update on my health: I saw the doctor and had bloodwork done last week.  Got some good news – my blood sugar was way down and my cholestrol was down.  I also have lost 25 lbs. in about 3 months (although I may have gained a pound or two the last couple of days – I didn’t realize how good real cheese would taste after all this time).  But not everything came up roses – my blood pressure was up again and I was put on new medication which didn’t agree with me at all  – my heart rate went way up and I didn’t feel well at all – so I’m back on the old medication until we figure something else out next week.  And I’m still experiencing the same symptoms with my head.  But I did enjoy a quiet and pleasant Christmas Day yesterday and am ready to turn the page and tackle another year.

Just one more note: Since I have had to miss quite a few parish events over the last few months, if you have any photos of anything that took place during the fall or during the holidays, I would love to post them on our website.  Our photos page is one of the more popular ones.  You can drop photos off at the parish office and I can scan them and get them back to you.  Or you can e-mail them to me at

I wish you and your family a Happy and safe New Year and all of the best in 2010.  Thanks again for all of your prayers and cooperation and I hope to be back in the game in 2010.  You are the best.  Peace.

December 12, 2009 – When Life Throws You a Curveball

December 12, 2009

Yes, I’m still here.  I looked back at when the last blog was that I posted and it was in October!  Geeezzz.  Well to try to tell the long, harrowing story of what has been going on the last few months would take the rest of the day, so I’ll try to give you the condensed version.  As you probably know, I have been experiencing some health problems over the last few months.  Actually, I need to buck up and admit that I have had some problems starting around the 4th of July.  It began with what felt like heavy pressure in my sinuses, but it would go away after a couple of days, and I didn’t think much of it.  However, in late August, the symptoms intensified, with this “pressure” or “tugging” feeling spreading to the top of my head and facial area, and this time it was not going away.  So … since then I have made multiple visits to the doctor, had blood tests, had 2 CT scans and an MRI, have been on enough drugs to kill a horse, and now, well I still really don’t have a firm diagnosis. 

I do feel slightly better now than I did say, a month ago, but I’m still far from perfect.  As the day goes along the symptoms worsen, and by the time evening rolls around I’m ready to call it a day.  But at least I’ve been able to function in a semi-normal fashion the last few weeks, and hopefully this slow but steady improvement will continue.  The hardest things to deal with during this whole ordeal have been first of all, trying to explain to people what the problem actually is when I don’t have a firm answer myself.  When you try to lay out the situation and people then ask you “yeah, but what’s wrong?” or, “OK, but what were you diagnosed with?”, it’s a very frustrating situation.  It has been a trial of patience in many ways.

But perhaps the toughest part of this whole thing has been that I feel like I have been letting people down.  I have felt guilty that I had to miss time from work, time from teaching religion, time from meetings and other church-related duties, and other things that I was used to doing, and that it unfairly put burdens on many other people.  I do not recall a time whenI felt so helpless.  I always saw my ability to do things for people such as computer work, organizing things, writing blogs, etc. as a real gift, and to suddendly not be able to utilize that gift is humbling and frustrating.

So what are the lessons I have learned through all of this?  They are many, but the main ones are that first of all, your health should never be taken for granted, and if you are blessed with good health, you’ve got the world by the tail.  It took me 40 years to realize that.  I also learned how hard it can be to pray, especially during the tough times.  When my health problems first started, I said enough rosaries to put Mother Angelica to shame.  However, as this ordeal kept on, I found myself praying less and less.  I don’t know if it was out of frustration, or just thinking in the back of my mind that God wasn’t listening anymore.  I’m still struggling with this, but I’m sure I’m not alone in my struggle.  I think doubting God can be a positive, as it makes you search for answers to questions you never had before.  Finally, I learned that there are a lot of people who are genuinely concerned about me, which I found out through all of your cards, phone calls, e-mails, and especially your prayers.  Thank you so much for everything from the botom of my heart, and I ask for your continued prayers that we can finally find a firm answer to all of this and that I can get back to my normal self.

So what’s next?  Well, when I first went to the doctor with all of this I discovered that I had high blood pressure and that I was a diabetic, so I have blood tests this week and yet another doctor visit to check on these things.  I have been sticking to my diet (down 20 lbs. so far), and my blood pressure has been better.  So hopefully things are on the upswing.

With all of the goings on it certainly doesn’t seem possible that Christmas is two weeks away.  I have done a litle online shopping, but that’s about it.  Fortunately, our family isn’t getting together until after Christmas, so I still have a little time. Maybe I can get in on a few after-Christmas sales this year.  And no Christmas cookies for yours truly this year – the extent of my snacking has been diabetic candy and pita chips (which actually aren’t bad). Life has definitely thrown me a curveball.

Well hopefully I can get back to a semi-regular blog schedule.  It may not be every week, but I’ll do as many as I can.  Thanks so much again for your patience and understanding during this trying time.  I hope to talk to you again before Christmas.  Enjoy the spirit of the holidays.  Peace.